The Maltese Province of the Carmelite Order is to end its presence in Balluta and Mdina and focus on three localities only.
The decision was taken during the 2024 Provincial chapter of the order in Malta where it was decided that the community would focus on the parishes of Fgura and Santa Venera and the national shrine of Mount Carmel in Valletta.
Fr Charles Mallia, Prior Provincial of the order, said he was making the announcement with a heavy heart, acknowledging the impracticality of maintaining a Carmelite community of Friars in Mdina and Balluta as the number of vocations declines.
Plans for the pastoral care of the congregation in Balluta are to be drawn up with the close collaboration of Archbishop Charles Scicluna and the laity who identify with the Carmelite Order.
Fr Mallia said he understood the disappointment many might feel at this decision, recognizing the long tradition of the Carmelite order in Malta since the 15th century and the generous support from local communities over the years.
The changes, Fr Mallia explained, were being made to “fortify community life, strengthen Catholic Witness and promote vocations to continue enriching the Church in Malta with the Carmelite charism".
During the Provincial Chapter, Fr Charles Mallia was elected to serve as prior provincial, with Fr Maurice Abela, Fr Martin Schembri, Fr Alex Scerri, and Fr Ivan Scicluna elected as councilors, all set to serve until 2027.
The Prior Provincial prayed the guidance of the Holy Spirit would help the Carmelite order to navigate this “challenging period”.